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  • 29 February 2024

Chelsea Scrapes Through as Leeds United Pushes Them to the Limit

Concerns Linger for Pochettino

In a dramatic FA Cup clash between Chelsea and Leeds United, the tension was palpable as both teams fought tooth and nail for a coveted spot in the next round. While Chelsea managed to emerge victorious, their performance left much to be desired, raising concerns for manager Pochettino.

The match started with a nervy moment for Chelsea as sloppy defending saw Leeds United's Daniel James squander a fantastic opportunity in the eighth minute. However, Leeds capitalized on a defensive lapse from Chelsea's Moises Caicedo, allowing Anthony to set up Joseph for a composed finish, putting the visitors ahead.

Chelsea quickly responded, with Caicedo redeeming himself by threading a precise pass to Nicolas Jackson, who calmly slotted the ball past Illan Meslier to restore parity. Moments before halftime, Mykhailo Mudryk capped off a fluid team move with a clinical finish, handing Chelsea the lead going into the break.

Despite their halftime advantage, Chelsea's second-half display was lacklustre, allowing Leeds to claw their way back into the game. Joseph's well-timed header drew Leeds level, leaving Chelsea vulnerable as the clock ticked down.

With Leeds pressing for an upset and their fans roaring them on, Chelsea found themselves on the back foot. However, in a moment of brilliance, Enzo Fernandez played a crucial pass to Gallagher, who showed composure and skill to create space before unleashing a thunderous strike past Meslier, securing Chelsea's passage to the next round in dramatic fashion.

Talking Point - Chelsea's Lack of Conviction:

The narrow victory exposes Chelsea's struggles to assert dominance, despite their significant investments in talent. Pochettino's side appeared overly reliant on key attacking players like Gallagher and Jackson, raising questions about their ability to control games against lower-tier opposition.

The inconsistency displayed against Leeds echoes similar concerns from their recent performance against Liverpool, highlighting a worrying trend for Pochettino. As Chelsea aim for silverware on multiple fronts, finding stability and consistency will be crucial to their success, and Pochettino must address these issues swiftly to secure his position at the helm.

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